Courtesy of Williams Sports Information
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Williams used a pair of second half goals to post a 2-0 victory over Lesley in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Cole Field.
With over 100 fans in attendance, the NESCAC champion Ephs hosted the NECC-winning Lynx.
Williams enjoyed long spells of possession in the first half, but Lesley kept the home side off the scoreboard. Lynx defenders blocked several Eph crosses to prevent scoring opportunities. Williams attackers found space with crisp one-two passing and deft dribbling but could not produce a goal before halftime.
The Ephs created a scoring chance in the 10th minute, when tri-captain Jacqueline Simeone curled a ball past the Lynx back line. The delivery drifted just out of the reach of a lunging Natalie Turner-Wyatt.
Lesley threatened on the counterattack in the 24th minute. Midfielder Jordan Mitchell found space to dribble, but Sarah Kelly and tri-captain Danielle Sim tracked back to intervene.
In the 25th minute, Eph forward Natasha Albaneze volleyed a hard shot on goal from 20 yards out. Lynx goalkeeper Lilly Donovan, who entered the game with a .968 save percentage and had allowed just 0.11 goals against average, caught the attempt.
In the opening minutes of the second half Williams forward Alison Lu won a ball deep in the Lesley penalty area. From the left side of the box, she dribbled in toward the goal and powered a shot inside the near post to put the Ephs up 1-0.
Albaneze pushed the Ephs' lead to 2-0 in the 53rd minute. Evan Gancedo played the ball into the box for Lu, who found Turner-Wyatt in space on the left wing. Turner-Wyatt sent a low cross through the box, and Albaneze tapped it in at the back post.
Lesley had a chance in the 67th minute, when midfielder Karlie Rubin made a long run into Williams territory and won a corner kick. Following Rubin's delivery from the set piece, midfielder McKenna Straube sent a shot wide.
Williams finished the match with a 15-2 edge in shots. Donovan totaled five saves in the contest.
Williams returns to Cole Field on Sunday and will face Brandeis at 1 p.m. in the second round.